649848 tn?1534633700

A New Look at Saturated Fats

Here's an article I received in the MedPageToday update that I thought might be worthwhile.  It's a cardiologist's take on saturated fats.  

One excerpt from the blog:  "[A]cross the board recommendation to limit dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake has persisted despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Most recent meta-analyses of randomized trials and observational studies found no beneficial effects of reducing SFA intake on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality, and instead found protective effects against stroke. Although SFAs increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, in most individuals, this is not due to increasing levels of small, dense LDL particles, but rather larger LDL which are much less strongly related to CVD risk. It is also apparent that the health effects of foods cannot be predicted by their content in any nutrient group, without considering the overall macronutrient distribution. Whole-fat dairy, unprocessed meat, eggs and dark chocolate are SFA-rich foods with a complex matrix that are not associated with increased risk of CVD. The totality of available evidence does not support further limiting the intake of such foods."


It's an interesting read, but of course, no matter what one study says, there will be another that disputes the results.  
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Avatar universal
I thought this looked very suspicious.  Here's a comment on the article on the link provided:  joel kahn

July 4, 2020

The Skeptical Cardiologist overlooked the fact that at least 9/12 authors on the JACC review declared dairy and beef funding. Also he ignored the Cochrane Library review a few weeks earlier that found a 21% reduction in CVD by reducing saturated fat. All the links can be found here. https://thebeet.com/the-big-fat-war-is-over-saturated-fat-causes-heart-disease-says-dr-joel-kahn/

Obviously, not all saturated fat is created equal.  Fatty fish is good for you.  It is probably true that fat other than triglycerides has been overrated as a problem, and that cholesterol itself has no consensus connection to heart disease.  It's probably other things involved than a blanket thing.  Notice he doesn't talk about obesity or any other disease states.  I'm also wondering about the source, as another comment mentioned that bacteria, viruses, and prions don't cause disease.  Uh, really?  Now, he might be referring to the belief that a healthy immune system is more important, and it is, but nobody has one of those all of the time.  You really do have to look at who pays for studies.  Most of the anti-soy stuff originated with the beef industry.  But a big problem is assuming that heart disease of the kind described is the only health problem you might get by eating meat and dairy.  Anything that causes inflammation can increase risk of almost everything. including heart disease, and no adult mammal uses dairy beyond weaning except recent human history.  It is commonly known to cause all kinds of problems, and these problems weaken us, and if we're weaker overall we're also more prone to heart problems.  Added meat eating due to affluence in China is the main suspect in their declining health, including increased obesity and heart problems.  The author of this article did what he tells us not to do, which is to overgeneralize, which he does when he assumes LDL particle size is the only consideration in how we get heart disease from saturated fat.  It's more complicated.  Everything is more complicated.  I wouldn't avoid meat or dairy altogether, but I wouldn't go out and believe it's fine to eat a lot of it.  All studies of actual humans done over a long time period show that eating less meat and only eating dairy, if you must, in a cultured or fermented form will result in less obesity and longer, healthier lives.  So there's that.  But again, if you want a good short rib, like I had for the Fourth of July, go for it.  Just don't do it a lot and expect no consequences.  Peace.  

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Oh, I meant to add, another comment mentioned that all studies show vegans and vegetarians are healthier.  Really?  Don't think that's actually true.  What has been found is eating mostly plant food is healthier.  It is a fact that eating animal food gave humans the energy needed to develop our brains.  Cooking supplied the rest of the energy needed.  Doesn't mean go to town on meat, but humans did start consuming it for some evolutionary reason and it seems without it we wouldn't have cerebrums.  Not that having them has proven to be such a great thing.
The comment you refer to about the bacteria, virus, etc was not made by the author of the blog, it was made by someone commenting on the blog.  

I didn't download the full article from which that excerpt came, but I'm sure there's more to it than what we saw.  

Yes, 9/12 of the people reviewing the article declared ties to the beef industry... I don't know how familiar you are with MedPageToday, but every article shows ties to any pharmaceutical or industry the author or other principals may have a connection.  

I don't think there was an assumption that heart disease is the only disease one could get from eating more meat... the article is simply pointing out that this particular study was about heart disease.

We tend to forget that the data showing that saturated fats was so bad for us was all manipulated to make it look as though cholesterol is the most horrible thing ever.  

I'm not advocating that everyone start increasing their saturated fat intake, however, I've noted several times on this forum, that *I* tend to lose more weight when I add fats, like coconut oil, full fat dairy (what little dairy I consume) and other fats.  

That said, as I noted, for every study, there is another (or more) to disprove the results and/or people who will disagree with it.  
I mentioned that comment because when you see comments that are just nuts you might be dealing with a particular doc who is in the Dr. Oz or Mercola camp, which means there's gold in them thar hills of posting contrarian views on a website even if in your own medical practice you don't subscribe to what you're telling folks about.  I don't know that to be true, I just found it to be true.  I don't in fact know anything about that website, but the article did not mention the financial ties of the study authors but a physician commenting did and I posted that.  I'm with you on doubting fat in general has been proven to be the main culprit in heart disease.  It might be, but it hasn't been proven yet to a consensus in the medical community.  I wasn't actually referring to other diseases than heart disease by eating meat -- I was referring to the indirect ways eating meat contributes to heart disease aside from cholesterol.  Many conditions weaken the heart, including diabetes and lung disorders and anything that causes systemic inflammation.  Cholesterol is a necessary nutrient, without it we can't make our hormones, but it becomes a problem when it oxidizes, so anything that promotes oxidation can lead to heart disease.  All roads to death end with the heart stopping.  I'm also not saying the author of the piece is wrong.  I am saying it sounds wrong, but you know, who am I to know for sure?  A lot of what I contribute comes from the many years I spent managing health food stores, something I didn't intend to do but fell into.  I can't say I learned a lot of certain truth there but I did get pretty good at recognizing industry-financed propaganda that just didn't seem to coordinate with what we know about actual living humans.  I had to fast forward through a segment of Bill Maher last night because he had on a nutritionist who knew nothing about nutrition, something I ran into a lot.  I personally bemoan the hype behind coconut oil, it's not actually good for you.  It's just not as bad as was once thought.  A large study came out that made that point about butter and coconut oil and the newspapers and media just focused on that and said eating a lot of saturated fat wasn't bad for you anymore.  Which was opposite of what that study said, it just said it's not as bad as was thought.  They still strongly advised against going to town with it.  So mostly I can't say what's true, only what seem to be a fad intended to make money, probably for a book somebody wrote.  Doesn't mean they won't in the very long term prove to be right, just that we should wait until the apple always hits the ground before we declare something a scientific fact.  Peace.
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